Hey everyone, happy 4th of July~ I bring to you a humble fanfiction filled with historical tidbits (heavily researched on wikipedia so yeah... everything with a grain of salt), patriotism, and family-ish...stuff. Hope you enjoy! AMERICUH.
P.S. I wrote most of this into the wee hours of the morning to finish it in time so if there are mistakes... yeah. It might be more than possible.
P.P.S. Washington was a total badass. (And is regarded as the father of his country)
Disclaimer: Hetalia = Not owned by me.
It was at about the age of six that George was made the master of a handsome little hatchet. He was very fond of it and often amused himself by hacking the pea sticks in his mother's garden. It was on one fine day that he went out to the garden to do just that when he found his hatchet was amiss.
Confusion was the boy's first reaction, but he tried being sensible. It was possible someone had moved it. Surely no one had stolen it? The thought filled him with apprehension. He was still mulling over the possibilities his child's mind could concoct when he heard the sound of frustrated grunting and what was undoubtedly the sound of a hatchet (perhaps his) striking against wood.
More curious than fearful, George went towards the sound and was shocked by what he saw. A youth, maybe a decade his elder, was hacking away at his father's young English cherry tree. The beautiful tree was something his father was quite proud of and George felt alarm that this stranger was viciously cutting away at the bark.
Not pausing to think it over, George hurried forward. "Stop! What do you think you are doing?"
The stranger paused, turning to look then lowering his eyes to the boy's. Frustration highlighted his fair features but melted away to something more sheepish. He lowered the hatchet. "I... Sorry. My day hasn't been the best. My whole morning was one giant scolding. I was wandering around your property and I saw the tree and I knew it was English and..."
The man stopped and shrugged. George wondered what he was doing on his family's property at all. "Pa is going to be angry. That's his favorite tree."
The youth sighed heavily and touched his wheat-blond hair. It was pulled back in a ponytail and there was a strange little cowlick sticking out in the front. "I suppose that means yet another scolding. I really didn't mean it. I was just releasing some tension. I shouldn't have done it, I guess."
There was weariness in the stranger's face and some defiance with his guilt. Before George could properly respond he heard his father's voice. Without thinking it through he quickly pushed the older boy, the two of them ducking out of sight. Soon he could hear his father's footsteps coming closer. There was an exclamation of surprise and then anger. There was a moment where he looked around the area for a culprit then turned back towards the house, still in a rage.
George released a breath, only then realizing there had been no reason for him to hide. After all, he hadn't been the one to commit the crime. The young man gave a small laugh but it wasn't quite amused. "You were right, he is rather angry. I suppose you should go tell him what happened. I'm used to getting into trouble and I wouldn't want anyone else to take the blame for it."
Looking up at him for a long moment, George took the hatchet and nodded once before heading towards the house. He looked back once but the youth hadn't run off. He still had a weariness about him but... There was something special about him. George could sense it, though he didn't know what it was exactly.
The younger boy finally entered the house, which was quite tense. His father had already interrogated a couple people over the issue and none had been able to give him any information on the ruined cherry tree. When his father saw him he immediately addressed him, his voice still filled with anger. "George, do you know who killed my beautiful cherry tree in the garden? I would not have taken five guineas for it!"
George looked down at the hatchet in his hands and opened his mouth to reveal the stranger's presence in the yard. He could not quite make himself condemn the older boy for some reason. There had just been something about him. Something special, as he had thought earlier, but also something a bit weary. Perhaps an act of kindness would do him some good, even if it came at a price.
Hardly knowing what to expect, George straightened up and cried, "I cannot tell a lie, Pa, you know I cannot! I cut it with my little hatchet."
Rather than scolding George as he had expected, the anger died out of his father's face and he took the boy tenderly in his arms. "My son, that you are not afraid to tell the truth means more to me than a thousand trees! Yes, even if they were blossomed with silver and had leaves of the purest gold!"
George was left speechless at this, his ears turning the slightest bit red. "Pa-"
But there was no correcting the matter. His father assured him that it was alright so long as he told the truth and that he was forgiven. Perplexed, the boy was once again left to his own devices as his father shared the tale of his son's great integrity. This turn of events left George more dismayed than if he had truly cut down the tree or if he had been punished for something he had not done, but he supposed at least he had spared the youth that may or may not still be in the garden.
Taking his hatchet back outside, George looked around for him. To his surprise he was indeed still waiting, his face somewhat solemn. He straightened as he saw George approaching him. "Guess your father will be wanting to speak with me now."
George shook his head and repeated as closely as he could the events that had taken place. The stranger watched with increasing amazement, his face eventually splitting into a grin. He laughed loudly and he seemed to really shine in that moment of true joy. "Cannot tell a lie! That is quite humorous. You really did not have to do that but I do appreciate it more than you know. Tell me, what's your name?"
George straightened up to address his elder. "My name is George, sir. George Washington."
The stranger made a face. "Please, no calling me 'sir'." He studied the boy for a moment then offered another sunny grin. "I'm the Thirteen Colonies of British North America. But I tend to go by Alfred F. Jones. You can call me Alfred."
An uncertain expression came over George's face. The title confused him. "What do you mean, the Thirteen Colonies, s- I mean, Alfred?"
Alfred winked and held up a finger. "That's who I am. I represent all of these fine lands. From Massachusetts all the way down to Georgia. Even here in Virginia. Even further out than that, actually. But so far these are the only places I have a name for. There are more than a few disputes over these places anyway. But they're still mine."
There was more than a little doubt within the child. Yet being a child, he couldn't quite dismiss it entirely. A part of him couldn't help but wonder if, rather than putting him on, this strange person was telling the truth. "Can you prove it?"
Alfred chuckled and shrugged. "Someday, maybe. Even if you don't ever believe me that's okay. But I'm starting to think I was drawn to this area for a reason. Something about you specifically... Well, George, I may be mistaken but something tells me that someday we might meet again. I promise I will find a way to repay your kindness today. If I can, I'll make you live forever. Or something."
As the man laughed again George stared in wonderment. Was he mad or was he something altogether more unfathomable? For no reason in particular he had compelled George to lie, which truly was something he was not prone to. Maybe they would meet again someday. Though he hardly hoped for immortality, even if he was a child. He was not that naïve.
"I am glad enough to make you smile, Alfred. If we do meet again I hope to see you in this way, and not sad." George was proud of how grown up he sounded in his polite offering of words.
Alfred tilted his head, the smile warming further. "I like you. I suppose I should get going now, though, before I am tempted to hack at anything else. I am confident I will see you again. Goodbye, George."
George was barely able to manage a wave before Alfred had turned his back, disappearing further and further from him. What a peculiar incident. George considered telling someone of it but was hardly sure it had happened, himself. And so through the rest of his youth he kept it silent until it became something more like a childish fancy. Still, Alfred remained bright in his memory, from the shade of blue of his eyes to the exact angle of his smile.
And though he barely acknowledged it consciously, he was always searching to find him again.
George's future was indeed bright. He grew to be a brave individual, eager for combat, and a natural leader. Though rash at times, his actions were usually successful at accomplishing their intended goals. He was launched into the position of a senior officer in the colonial forces in the early stages of the French and Indian War.
It was there he thought he might have glimpsed Alfred again. A figure that had left a piece of correspondence for him that held much useful advice. He had disappeared too rapidly for George to confirm his suspicions and he did not see the individual again. A part of him doubted it, a trick of the mind. For the one he had seen looked as young as the youth he had glimpsed as a child.
Time passed rapidly without another sighting and in the Colonies, tension was growing. It finally erupted into a revolution against Great Britain. Some thought the whole thing a doomed nightmare. No colony had forced its independence from a world power. Despite the odds, George accepted the position of commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.
Things started well enough but he faced a serious blow when he lost New York City to the British, defeated and nearly captured. Things were turning for the worse and he knew something had to be done to change the tides, even if it was rash.
It was with this thinking that he found himself in the dead of winter, his army preparing to cross the icy Delaware into New Jersey in an attempt to surprise and defeat the British forces in Trenton. It was Christmas, he mused to himself as he watched his breath become mist then fade into thin air.
It was a potentially dangerous strategy. Similar attempts in the past had proven ineffective. With a shrinking army and the British forces pushing ever more heavily onward he had no time to be overly cautious. He had to hope for the best.
It was in those tense moments before they took off that he suddenly found a hand on his shoulder, giving it a good squeeze. A familiar voice he had not heard in over forty years spoke to him softly. "Don't you worry about a thing, George. You won't fail. I'm here with you, and so long as I am you're going to succeed. I refuse to be defeated, and that feeling is about ten times as strong when I'm around people like you."
George turned, amazed as his eyes settled on a face unchanged by time. "Alfred...? But you could not possibly be... Are you perchance the son of an Alfred F. Jones?"
Alfred gave him an amused grin. "No, I am the one and only Alfred F. Jones! Or at least the only one that counts. I promised I would repay you. And I sort of keep feeling obligated as you keep on helping me out. So I'm here for you now. We're going to do this, and we are going to win. Right?"
George knew there was no time to be amazed and so he pushed it back for the moment. There was no time to dwell on whether this was an elaborate hoax, a strange coincidence, or a God given truth. "Of course."
And somehow George did feel more confident in that moment. His expression was grim but he managed the slightest smile after a moment. "Then let us find victory."
"That's the spirit." Alfred gave his shoulder a pat and headed towards one of the boats. The one George would be on. He noticed that Alfred—if it was him—held himself more proudly, his hair once on the long side now cut short. While his face had not aged, somehow his disposition had. It had grown more confident. More determined.
George felt, no matter the circumstances, that he could not fail this strange youth.
And so they set sail, crossing the treacherous waters cautiously. Alfred sat near George, silent but eager. Not quite silent. He seemed to be mouthing something, though George could not make out what it might be. Nor was there time to focus on the peculiar companion to their assault.
They met no misfortune on the icy river and were indeed victorious. It would be one with long reaching influences on the war and on both armies. Somehow George truly felt it was in part helped by Alfred. And later, when things were settled and supplies and prisoners had been safely brought back across the Delaware, Alfred repeated the tale of their first meeting. It was a flawless retelling, some of the details ones even he had forgotten.
George was no fool but he found he took what Alfred was telling him to be truth. There were things about this truth that he felt were beyond him, but only a true fool would think everything in this world was possible of human comprehension. Best to accept it to whatever degree he could and not dwell on what he could not.
Coming to accept Alfred's being a representation of the Thirteen Colonies as truth, George suddenly felt it more necessary to look out for the youth. After all, was his every action not to liberate and protect said colonies? Indeed. Besides, there was no denying the connection he felt with Alfred. Almost like one of kinship. Or responsibility. It was hard to pin down even to himself.
And so it was in this way, in the middle of a revolution, the peculiar acquaintanceship began to form the tentative branches of friendship.
The ground was slick with mud. The rain had stopped but the stormy sky warned it would start again at a moment's notice. Tired but filled with a deep sense of pride and accomplishment, George made his way through soldiers and tents. He stopped in front of one in particular, debating on if he should make his presence known or just enter.
"I'm coming in," he finally said before pushing aside the tent flap and entering the space.
Alfred sat with his back to the entrance, shoulders slumped. George walked over to him, taking a seat beside him. There was a measured silence before he finally spoke again. "I saw your confrontation with that man today. Something tells me he wasn't just another British soldier."
Said confrontation had obviously been emotionally charged, though he hadn't been close enough to hear the actual words exchanged. His suspicions were confirmed when Alfred tensed. He turned slowly, not quite looking at the older man. "Would you believe that the man at my feet, in the mud and weeping, was the British Empire?"
There was silence as that fully sank in. "I can say honestly there is very little I could not believe these days. Did it not make you happy? He yielded to you, a colony. One of many."
"But I wasn't just... I mean, yes, I was but... He was my big bro-" The word choked off in Alfred's throat and he hung his head.
All at once Alfred's expression hardened. "He was bossy and demanding and treated me like a child no matter what I did. And he always thought he could keep forcing me to do things and there would never be consequences. I felt like I was suffocating under him sometimes, and I hated when he treated me like just another piece of land he could do with as he liked!"
Just as abruptly as his expression had become hard, it suddenly melted to one of deep melancholy. "The strangest thing is that seeing him crying on the ground... I didn't feel superior or victorious or smug. All I could think of was 'This man was once so big. What happened?' And for some reason that hurt. And the look on his face... It wasn't fair of him to look at me that way. It wasn't-"
Alfred bit his lower lip hard as tears welled up in his eyes. "He's the one... who should feel bad."
Tears began to slide down Alfred's face, his shoulders shaking with silent sobs. Seeing Alfred cry sent a deep pain through George's heart. One on par to what he had experienced upon the death of his father and brother. Here now he saw such a deep vulnerability it hurt to look at. Like a child, completely lost and alone.
George held Alfred, a dry hand patting his back gently. Alfred seemed surprised for a moment then pressed his face against the other man's shoulder. It was alright to show his weakness to George if it was just a little bit. He had been hiding it so well until now, every last insecurity. It had been so difficult. "I didn't want to have to break it completely but I knew he... Arthur would never let me go willingly and he'll never forgive me for this. I just know he..."
George patted Alfred's shoulder again then pulled back. "There is no knowing the future. Do not let it hurt you in such a way. Now, did you not shake off the chains that shackled you?"
Alfred hesitated then nodded. George continued. "And you can become your own nation now. One that can control its own government and rules—It's own destiny. Is that not also true?"
By now Alfred's tears had stopped and his posture was becoming less slumped. "It is."
"And are you not free?"
"Free..." Alfred slowly smiled and reached up to wipe his eyes. "That's right. I have freedom to do what I want... and what I need to do. At least, if things go well. I'm a bit worried. What if I find I was better off never breaking away?"
"Never think like that. There are great people who are dedicated to your vision. There may be hardships, but this will be a great country."
Alfred paused then nodded. The events of that afternoon had really shaken him up but George was right. The freedom he and his people had obtained was something sweet, to be cherished and protected, no matter the hardships that came with it. "You're right. Thank you. I only hope you continue to be part of it all. I think you are perhaps one of the greatest of these men."
George found he was smiling as well. "I cannot say much on that, but I do know that you can count on me. Until the day I die I will be dedicated to the well being of my boy."
Outside, the rain had started again.
Alfred loved the Constitution and even after it was well over a year written and signed, he still liked looking it over. He liked the signatures (particularly John Hancock's) and he liked the words on it especially.
George had presided over the Constitutional Convention where it had been drafted. He was satisfied with it as well. But something told him that Alfred hadn't invited him there that day just to look at the document. All he had to do was wait and see what Alfred had to say.
"They're still looking for a more permanent leader. Things have been so hectic... but we all need it. A good, strong leader. Not that there's anything wrong with who they have right now but he feels like a place holder." Alfred glanced over at him and smiled. "You are a popular candidate. Did you know that? There are some people who want you to become a king."
So that was it. Alfred clearly didn't like the idea of it despite his teasing tone. George didn't, either. "It would be an honor to be the leader of this fine new nation, but I would not be made a king. It would undermine all we fought against."
Alfred relaxed, smile brightening more. "You would think that would be obvious. I doubt it would go over well but... I suppose some people always turn to what they know."
"And those instincts must be resisted. If I do get the honor of that position, I will do my best by you, my boy. But it's almost laughable to imagine myself your king." Alfred, whose will was so strong and breezy. It would be like trying to rule the wind. No, if he were to be a leader to this young nation he could only envision himself as a partner or a guide or perhaps...
Alfred laughed. "I think I would tease you endlessly until you dethroned yourself."
"Undoubtedly." George chuckled and shook his head. He walked over and lightly touched Alfred's shoulder. The boy turned his gaze up at him for a moment, sharing a private smile, then turned his attention back to the Constitution.
In silence they both studied the curling dips on the parchment, contemplating the endless significance within each loop.
Martha escorted Alfred through a well kept home, worry heavy in each step she took. "I knew there was something wrong when he woke me up to tell me he was ill but he's just getting worse and worse. What was he thinking? Going out for hours on end in all that snow and hail then not changing into something dry to eat."
The words were somewhat stern but Alfred knew Martha well enough to sense how much fear and sorrow was actually lurking beneath the surface. She continued, her voice strained. "He insisted on seeing you. I did not want to bother you but I am not sure if George..."
She didn't have the heart to finish that thought and Alfred was glad she hadn't. His own heart was already pounding painfully in his rib cage. They reached the bedroom and Martha stepped in to announce his arrival before ushering Alfred in.
Alfred swallowed thickly as he entered the room. George sat up in bed, his face pale. When he spoke his voice was terribly hoarse. "Ah, Alfred. So good to see you."
Alfred went and sat on the bed, smiling weakly. "Good to see you too, George. I hear you tried to take on nature and it seems to be winning. But you should be better in no time."
George started to chuckle then began to cough violently. Alfred gave him an alarmed look but he waved his hand, trying to gesture he was alright. Finally he caught his breath. "Of course... Just a bit of a sore throat. If it is the end for me, though, I cannot say I feel regret."
"You should not talk that way." Alfred shook his head.
George smiled softly, a knowing smile that was not quite cheerful. "But it is the truth. There is so much I have been blessed enough to accomplish. God has truly been kind to me. And when I look at you I feel only pride."
Alfred reached out and took one of George's hands. "That means a lot to me. But there's still a lot of other things you can accomplish, you know. If you hang on."
"It is not for me to decide. Though there are things I would still like to do. I cannot tell a lie. There are times I envy your long life." George squeezed the youthful hand he held. In all the time he had known him, Alfred seemed to have aged three years at the most and didn't seem to be adding more anytime soon.
Alfred tilted his head. "Oh? Didn't you realize? I fulfilled my promise. Or more rather, you did it for me. You're immortal now."
George gave him a perplexed look then laughed, only having a minor coughing fit that time. "I should hope I am not immortal at such a withered age. It does not seem enjoyable. But what do you mean, my boy?"
"Everything you've done... They'll talk about you forever. You'll be in books. I might live for a long time but very few people know I even exist. You, on the other hand, everyone will know who you are. George Washington. Someday your name will be all but legendary, I know it. Everyone will know you are one of the greatest men who has ever lived. And no one will forget you, ever. Especially not me." Alfred bit his lower lip, squeezing George's hand more tightly. "What will I do without you?"
Tears had come to George's eyes and his voice quivered with emotion. "Oh, I am sure you will get along without me. Just fine. Adams is taking care of you and there will always be someone. Always."
Alfred nodded his head, his throat tight. He looked almost as vulnerable as he had that day at the end of the Revolution. "But none of them will ever be you. Just so you know. The boy who lied and said he could not tell one for the sake of a stranger."
"You were never a stranger. Not really." George smiled, and for once Alfred refrained from teasing him about his dentures.
"I suppose I wasn't." Alfred felt there was more to say but couldn't find the words. And so much of it had been said already in the many conversations they had shared in the past. Rather than struggle with unnecessary words, for once he allowed silence to sit over them. George seemed to fall into a doze and Alfred did not disturb him.
After a long pause George opened his eyes and looked at Alfred. "Thank you. Sincerely."
Alfred blinked then smiled. "For what?"
"For everything. For being you." George gave his hand another small squeeze. "My boy."
Alfred smiled and it was difficult not to cry. "Georgie."
There was a raspy chuckle at the much disliked nickname and then George closed his eyes. He fell into a deeper sleep, the air whistling with each breath he took. It was difficult but after some time watching the man who had in many ways been like a father to him, Alfred gently patted his hand and released it.
As Alfred got up and started to walk away he knew with certainty this was the last time he would see George. Something twisted sharply in his chest and he lingered in the doorway, gazing back at him. Yet as he saw that face, so old and tired now in comparison to the child he had first met, there were only fond memories. No sorrow. Warmth welled up in his chest and he whispered his goodbye to the sleeping figure.
It was brisk outside in the winter air. As he walked along the path he passed by a row of cheery trees. There were no leaves, no fresh blooms. Nothing but naked branches that gleamed in the cold light. A small, sad smile touched Alfred's lips. They were dormant now, but surely come spring they would never look more beautiful.
Guinea – A coin minted in the UK from 1663 to 1813. It was the first English machine-struck gold coin and it tended to have a high value being made of gold and all.
French and Indian War – Conflict between France and Great Britain that pretty much lead to England being the biggest colonial presence in North America. Also commonly referred to as the Seven Years' War. Something like that.
First president – If I remember correctly there were actually two or more individuals before George who were in charge of the country. I don't remember much about it (grade school memory I'm pulling this from) and I just didn't feel like doing in-depth research.
Martha – George's wife.
John Adams – Second President (Thomas Jefferson was his Vice President)
Death – George Washington died December 14, 1799. His last words were "Tis well."